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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Let's say I am in a forest in central europe, what wild tree can I use it's fibros peel to make cordage. I tried with wild hazelnut tree(the kind of hazelnut tree with a lot of branches growing from the base making it look like a giant bush) and I couldn't peel the skin from the wood in one piece.
 

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Not familiar with your trees over there.
Probably most trees without any lower limbs for whatever distance you need cordage in length.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks, I'll search on google and try to recognize in real life. I heard willows are good and we have a lot of willows. Near every pond there is at least one willow, looking sad over the water.
 

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There are several Cedar species around the globe. Their bark is long and fibrous and tends to peel away easily.

Also, look just a few centimeters below the ground for Spruce roots. Here is some info that may surprise you. I have never worked with it (yet), but I like how this article called it "the steel wire of the plant world." It is long-lasting too.


Spruce Roots (various) Picea
N. America, Europe, Asia

Spruce roots are the steel wire of the plant world. They are easily found a few centimeters beneath the forest floor, normally in a network of different sizes to suit the needs of the forest builder.

The roots, once lightly cleaned and stripped of their outer ‘bark’ can be used straight away, but if a finer cord is needed a skilled hand can carefully split the roots down their length, and even into quarters if necessary. We have shelters and structures built a decade ago using spruce roots that are still standing and show no signs of sagging or rot.
I found that information here:

Don't overlook other plants. Cattail grows all over the world near water except for Australia, most Polar regions, and the Pacific Islands. Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca and related species) is invasive in Europe and its fibers inside the stalk make good cordage...especially if you can get to it before frost (which supposedly makes it weaker and more brittle). Stinging nettle is stronger and softer but time is needed to properly process it.
 

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Thanks, I'll search on google and try to recognize in real life. I heard willows are good and we have a lot of willows. Near every pond there is at least one willow, looking sad over the water.
For Weeping Willows use the lower (they tend to be longer) soft pliable limbs. They will produce a good length of bark fiber than can be braided into cordage. Also the Willow is full of salicin which is a main ingredient in modern aspirin. So if you have a headache just take part of the bark and chew on it, swallowing the juice.
 
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What time of year did you try it? Bark is often easiest to peel late spring or very early summer.

I have made small amounts of cordage from pine , balsam, maple ash and basswood, the two best were ask and basswood, I dont think Europe has ash. Basswood may be called Linden over there.

If it is a time other than spring I have had luck peeling bark from freshly downed trees that are wet and have just started to decay, but the fibers I got tended to be short.

For quick cordage it may be easier to use grass or fiborus weeds like nettel or thistle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
What time of year did you try it? Bark is often easiest to peel late spring or very early summer.

I have made small amounts of cordage from pine , balsam, maple ash and basswood, the two best were ask and basswood, I dont think Europe has ash. Basswood may be called Linden over there.

If it is a time other than spring I have had luck peeling bark from freshly downed trees that are wet and have just started to decay, but the fibers I got tended to be short.

For quick cordage it may be easier to use grass or fiborus weeds like nettel or thistle.
I tried now in autumn
 

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Those are two different plants. I dont think either of them would hold up as a bow string of a reasonable thickness on a hunting bow.

For a bow string my first choice would be sinew (but that requires already having a dead deer). My next choice would be hemp, but that could cause legal problems. Stinging nettle would be third choice. Making a string strong enough for a bow is quite a project. Make sure you get rid of all the chaff and only use the longest, best fibers to have the best chance of success.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
hemp, but that could cause legal problems
Not really. Even though hemp can be used for drugs, in my country on the side of every highway there are corn fields, sunflower fields, wheat fields and hemp fields which are worked by some private companies that make sunflower oil and hemp oil. No one will notice if I take a little amount of hemp from highway. I also have access to stinging nettle, we even eat stinging nettle soup.

I tried 8 different trees(oleander, hazelnut tree, linden tree, willow, oak, quince tree, cherry, the plant that produces grapes - i don't know what's called in english -, ) and 0 success. Since you told me that I can't use trees in autumn, I'll try hemp and stinging nettle. Can pig intestines work?
 

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If you can get hemp without legal issues that is probably what I would go with, although I have never worked with it so I could be wrong. Of the plants I have personally worked with, stinging nettle gave the finest finished product.

I am pretty sure what you call linden is the same as basswood here, for big cordage I found it works very well. I never tried making something as fine as a bowstring from it. But that was in the spring when the bark pealed easily.

I have no idea on if pig intestine would work.
 

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"The trees are sometimes called "lime" in Britain and "linden" in parts of Europe and North America. The most common name for the tree in North America is American basswood (Tilia americana), but there are several varieties with separate names."
 

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Let's say I am in a forest in central europe, what wild tree can I use it's fibros peel to make cordage. I tried with wild hazelnut tree(the kind of hazelnut tree with a lot of branches growing from the base making it look like a giant bush) and I couldn't peel the skin from the wood in one piece.
Also, do check what the local laws say about doing that if you do now own the land yourself.
 
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